Trustees, estate executors, and personal representatives are legally required to meet their fiduciary duties. When a person with an interest in a will or trust challenges the trustee or personal representative, the party should consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. When a personal representative or trustee faces legal challenges, the consequences can be serious. The penalties for misconduct on the behalf of a trustee or personal representative can include removal from the job, fees, and even personal liability. If you are in need of legal representation, the experienced trust and estate lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Hunt can help. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free, initial consultation.
Legal Representation for Trustees in Sacramento
Trustee litigation can be frustrating and difficult for everyone involved. If you have been appointed as a trustee in California and someone is petitioning for your removal as a trustee, time is of the essence. Under California probate law, the court can remove a trustee for several different reasons, including the following:
- The trustee committed a breach of trust
- The trustee is unfit to fulfill his or her duties to administer the trust
- The trustee insolvent
- Hostility among the trustees impairs the trust administration
- The trustee is receiving excessive compensation under the circumstances
Advising Trustees in Sacramento
Even if you are not facing a petition for your removal as a trustee, our lawyers can help you. Trustees are under a significant amount of pressure to fulfill their duties. When a trustee does not fulfill his or her legal duties, either unintentionally, or intentionally, the trustee can face petitions for removal.
One of the best ways to protect yourself as a trustee is to appoint legal representation as soon as possible. At the Law Office of Daniel Hunt, we are in the business of advising and protecting trustees as they fulfill their obligations. When you have an experienced trustee lawyer on your side, you will reap significant benefits. Our legal most often helps trustees with the following issues:
- Meeting statutory deadlines for providing notice
- Filing tax returns on behalf of the trust
- Accepting legal service from beneficiary’s attorneys and creditors
- Filing, assembling, and defending annual accountings
- Managing trust assets
- Collecting trust assets
- Selling businesses and real estate on behalf of the estate
- Settling claims against the trust from creditors
- Working out solutions with beneficiaries who are challenging
- Securing a Trustee’s Release of Liability Documentation
Probate Courts can Hold Trustees Personally Liable
Fulfilling the duties of a trustee is extremely important. Those who serve as trustees take on a certain amount of personal liability. Trustees owe the beneficiaries of the trust a fiduciary duty. When trustees breach their fiduciary duties, California probate courts can make them correct any of their financial mistakes using their personal money. In many cases, trustees unintentionally breach their fiduciary duties. They might take action in a situation they do not really understand and unintentionally make an error.
Beneficiaries to the trust have a legal right to bring you in front of a probate judge to explain the actions you take and any expenses you incur on behalf of the trust. This is why it is so important that you as the trustee hire skilled legal representation to protect you from legal actions against you. Speaking with a skilled lawyer as soon as you are appointed as a trustee can help you make sure that you do not become personally liable for an issue related to the trust.
Legal Representation for Executors and Personal Representatives in California
California testators name executors in their wills to act as their personal representatives after their deaths. An estate administrator is someone the California probate court appoints to oversee the testators estates when they die without a will in place. The legal duties and requirements of an administrator are the same as those of an executor. The main difference is that the testator appoints the executor in his or her will and the court appoints the personal representative.
If you are acting as an executor or personal representative, securing legal counsel can be a wise strategy. You will be legally responsible for gathering the assets of the estate, paying off any creditors, managing the assets of the estate, and distributing the remaining property to the beneficiaries. Personal representatives and executors can face legal action for failure to properly administer their legal duties.
For example, an interested person could petition the probate court to refrain from taking an action that could cause “great or irreparable injury.” The court could remove some or all of the powers of the personal representative to protect the estate. When personal representatives or executors breach their fiduciary duties, the penalties could include a court order to take or refrain from a particular action, removal from the position, fees, and personal liability.
Why You Need Legal Representation
In California, personal representatives benefit from legal advice regarding the administration of the estate. Complex estates can be extremely challenging and difficult to manage. If you are a personal representative or estate executor who is also working full-time, you may find it difficult to comply with all of your legal duties while working.
Likewise, if you are the subject of a lawsuit, a court investigation, or you are embroiled in trust and estate litigation, you need legal representation. At the end of the day, you could be personally responsible for any mistakes you’ve made in your role as estate executor or trustee. The best way to protect yourself and your personal assets is to hire experienced legal representation.
Our Personal Representative Lawyers can Help
The trust and estate lawyers at the Law Office of Daniel Hunt have the necessary experience to effectively defend you in your role as an estate executor or trustee. We will fight for your rights during the entire legal process. We also offer estate administration representation. Contact our Sacramento estate and trust law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.